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A Santa Rosa man was arrested Monday on suspicion of stealing a 2000 Honda in the Rohnert Park area, according to the California Highway Patrol. CHP Officer Theresa Simmons was patrolling northbound U.S. Highway 101 around 2:50 p.m. when the LoJack vehicle recovery system in her car activated, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
A CHP dispatcher informed her a stolen black 2000 Honda was in the area, Sloat said. Simmons exited the highway at Yolanda Avenue in Santa Rosa and spotted the Honda turning right on Santa Rosa Avenue. As Simmons waited for a backup patrol car, the Honda pulled to the curb at Burt Street, Sloat said. When CHP Officer Ron Benfer arrived, theHonda driver was removed from the car at gunpoint, Sloat said.
The Honda driver, Branko E. Romano, 42, of Santa Rosa, appeared extremely lethargic and fell asleep several times while he was questioned, Sloat said. He was allegedly in possession of several syringes and marijuana was apparently found in the trunk of the Honda, Sloat said. It was determined Romano was under the influence of heroin, Sloat said. Romano was booked into the Sonoma County jail for vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, possession of hypodermic needles, DUI and being under the influence of a controlled substance, Sloat said.
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